The Left, Right and You Reza Aslan interview is…

… right here! 

Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan

A huge thank you to Reza for spending some time with us today and providing a unique and enlightening perspective on who Jesus was, the writing process, and religion in general. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to talk with him.

Another thank you to Dave Niven who has admirably filled producer Dave Weiser’s shoes for the last two weeks. He had a couple of interesting questions for Reza today.

But enough of my ramblings – please enjoy the show!


A Special Guest on Thursday’s Show!

I’m really excited about this week’s Left, Right and You, dear listeners, because best selling author Reza Aslan will be joining us for a full half-hour!

Aslan, of course, is the author of the best selling book, “Zealot: The Life and Time of Jesus of aslanNazareth,” one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. It paints a vivid picture of what life was like at that time in one of the poorest areas of the world, how Jesus stood out from a group of folks who claimed they were the Messiah, and how this simple peasant took on divine overtones.

We’ll discuss the book, Aslan’s own religious background, attacks on the book from folks who didn’t even bother to read it, how the real Jesus of Nazareth might approach some of today’s more contentious issues, and what Aslan plans on publishing next.

So please join us Thursday on WRMN AM1410 from 3 to 4 p.m. because it’s gonna be good!


D. J. Tegeler Would Make a Great Judge!

When you add up that I’m officially an unofficial columnist, there aren’t many GOP candidates who make me want to stand up and salute, and the effort generally cuts into my video game playin’ time, you’ll understand why I don’t do many endorsement pieces these days.

Not only that, but the last time your favorite columnist came out in journalistic support of Geneva attorney D. J. Tegeler, Judge David Akemann simply brushed it off. Ah! But the good news there is, the former Kane County State’s Attorney has done the black robe proud.

All that said, since I’m always willing to make an exception, most first-time candidates use that loss as a primer for their next run, and fools like me will always march forth when the angels are in full retreat, let’s give it another shot!

Because there’s also the unassailable fact that, when confronted with a judicial ballot, most of us scratch our heads, heave a heavy sigh, and start flippin’ coins which kinda subverts the process. The truth is, judges can often become the most powerful politicians you can possibly put in office.

So what I’m really saying is, when you find yourself at that March 18 primary polling place, you tegelercan’t go wrong by ticking off the box next to Sixteenth Circuit, Third Subcircuit Judge candidate D. J. Tegeler.

For the uninitiated, the Third Subcircuit basically consists of the western half of Kane County.

And I can unabashedly support D. J. because, as far as experience goes, he’s really hard to beat. In the last 24 years, he’s tried cases in every courtroom in the county including, felony trials, misdemeanor trials, civil cases, divorces, traffic violations, small claims, business and real estate actions, juvenile cases, and even appellate proceedings.

Though I can certainly understand why some lawyers choose to specialize, I think that makes them far less effective as judges.

In addition, D. J. has lived in the Third Subcircuit for that same 24 years and there’s something to be said for having an implicit understanding of the folks you hope to serve.

There’s also this! Given our limited county resources, it’s important for Circuit Court Judges to keep an eye on the bottom line. To that end, D. J. has been the President of the Mill Creek Water Reclamation District with their $6 million budget for the last four years. And I’m pleased to say, that board has consistently balanced their budget while cutting administrative costs by one-third.

But as good as all that is, here’s really what really matters to me.

You see, when one of our fellow citizens finds themselves in front of a judge, it may well be they’ve come to a critical juncture in their lives. And that man or woman in black sitting on that lofty courtroom perch may be well be their last hope.

In that brief silent moment before the gavel comes down, I want our Kane County judges to understand that, for all the defendant’s flaws, in the end, a human being stands before them. I want judges who can and will tread that fine line between keeping us safe and attempting to retrieve those lost souls who aren’t yet irretrievable.

Put more simply, I want to elect a judge who, though a variety of life experiences, always remembers his own humanity and never lets the job go to his head.

And that, my friends, is D. J. Tegeler.

I also want to mention that, though I absolutely refuse to hold it against him, D. J. is the only consistent Republican in that race.

One of the joys of living in Kane County is that we’re been blessed with some bleepin’ phenomenal judges including, but not limited to, the retiring Karen Simpson, Clint Hull, David Akemann, John Barsanti, and, of course, my personal favorite, Chief Judge Judy Brawka.

Electing D. J. Tegeler on March 18 would mean one more.

Let Left, Right and You clear the political fog!

And you can start that process starts by listening to today’s show:

Tim Elenz

Tim Elenz

Thanks to Kane County Director of Elections Suzanne Fahnestock for bringing Tim and I up to date on the ever expanding early voting options.

And, of course, thanks to Tim for filling in again today. We will certainly have him back before the election strikes.

We also discussed the political death of Dan Rutherford, why the left is nowhere near as bad as the right when it comes to bizarre political behavior, and our prognosis for some of the upcoming elections.

Enjoy the show!

If you’re not bailing out your basement…

…then leave all your weather worries behind by tuning into WRMN AM1410 at 3 p.m. today for the latest installment of Left, Right and You!

Tim Elenz will join the show once again as we discuss:  nugent

  • Why Jeff’s biggest political prediction of 2014 is rapidly going down in flames. (But that won’t stop him from making another big one!)
  • Why precinct committeemen are so important to the process with Hanover Township Trustee and PC candidate Howard Krick calling in.
  • Why conservatives’ contention that the left is just as bad as the right when it comes to political lunacy is blatantly false.

Today, I really want to hear from conservatives (847-931-1410) who can offer some sort of explanation for why the GOP will not denounce Ted Nugent’s recent comments regarding the President.

Ladies! Please Put the SUV Down and Walk Away

Listen up ladies! I’ve had just about enough of your insistently escalating collective superior attitude. Why, this creeping cultural feminine phenomenon has gotten so bad that we unassuming males can’t even turn on the TV without being immediately insulted.

There’s the hopelessly, hapless husbands (Everybody Loves Raymond), the singularly stupid single males (Two and a Half Men), the insane incompetent idiots (How I Met Your Mother) and when they’re not screwing up, they’re screwing around like rutting pigs (Madmen).

And the dumb dads with determined darling daughter commercials, too numerous to mention here, are even worse.  suv2

But despite the average romance novel’s depiction of our gender as beer guzzling, crotch scratching, toilet seat up leaving, despicable and generally clueless cads, you women have one tragic flaw that surpasses them all. Because the saddest sight anyone could ever hope to see in this existence is a middle-aged white woman attempting to drive an SUV.

It’s not unlike watching a 30 pound cat trying to get in through the 10 pound doggie door!

Despite what you all clearly think, the average sports utility vehicle does not come close to the robust dimensions of an M1 Abrams tank. To wit, your absurd Escalade is not 35 feet wide which means you don’t have to drive right down the middle of the street and sorta pull for every oncoming vehicle to pass you.

And then you have the nerve to say that men have a difficult time when it comes to measuring things.

Then there’s this one! While there may be separate semi speed limits on metropolitan highways, I have yet to see suburban signage requiring SUVs to do 15 miles below the posted limit. It’s not a Metra train ladies! Having owned a couple of these mildly larger vehicles myself, I can unequivocally say they actucally stop pretty quickly.

Let me tell ya, there’s nothing quite like getting behind one of you doing 30 mph down Route 38 while gingerly applying your makeup.

If it’s gas mileage you’re worried about, then you probably shouldn’t have purchased a Ford Explorer to begin with.

Since we’re on the subject of momentum and brakes, will someone please explain the need for distaff SUV drivers to slow to a five mph crawl in order to execute a simple right turn. Perhaps there’s been a spate a of sport utility vehicle rollovers that only get reported on Oprah.  suv

And the only thing worse than everything I’ve already described, is watching a woman park an SUV in a crowded grocery store parking lot. My God! I haven’t seen that much maneuvering since Chris Christie denied closing a bridge and the term “collateral damage” takes on a whole new and far more frightening meaning.

Then you somehow mange to take up five separate parking spaces. I’m thinking reality show!

Of course, since most women can’t bear the though of just one moment of silence, this is all made much worse by the fact that these SUV challenged drivers inevitably have a cell phone plastered to their ear.

So here’s my thought! Let’s round up about two hundred forty-something suburban female sports utility vehicle drivers, give ‘em free cell phones and unlimited minutes, and airdrop them directly into Afghanistan. That oughtta bring the Taliban to their knees in one short week.

Ladies, please do us all a favor; put the SUV down and just walk away. Is it really that much to ask you to consider our feelings for once? I’ve even heard that altruistic acts are their own reward. Perhaps a stylish Mini Cooper is much your speed.

As for me, I’m statin’ to think the Saudis had the right idea all along. I think I’ll go leave the toilet seat up.

Here’s your Left, Right and You fix for the week!

Dan Rutherford

Dan Rutherford

A big thanks to special guest Tim Elenz for playing co-host today – we will certainly be bringing him back more often.

Another tip of the LR&Y hat to Pete from Elgin for calling in with yet another cogent question. Please keep calling in Pete, we appreciate your insights.

Then Tim and I talked bitcoins, Dan Rutherford, Pat Quinn, and presidential executive orders. Enjoy the show!


It’s almost Left, Right and You time!

Since, I’m sure you can hardly wait, here’s a taste of today’s show!

Tim Elenz

Tim Elenz

  • Is Dan Rutherford done or as Jeff recently wrote, does the fact that Dan could do so much better than Ed Michaloswki automatically exonerate him?
  • It’s been a bad week for bitcoins.
  • By resorting to issuing executive orders, is Barack Obama the reincarnation of Joe Stalin (Hint: Jeff doesn’t think so!)

Special guest Tim Elenz will join me in the studio on WRMN AM1410 from 3 to 4 p.m. today. We really wanna hear from conservatives today so please call in at 847-931-1410.

Don’t miss this one!

In Defense of Dan Rutherford

Can someone please tell me why every middle-aged straight guy thinks they’re every gay guy’s dream? Anyone?

The reason I bring this up now is because I firmly believe that most male homophobia is rooted in an irrational fear of being “recruited” and/or propositioned if they dare to get too close to one of ’em.

Well I’ve got news for you guys, considering the general state of the 40 to 50-something straight male population, rest assured, you have nothing to worry about. The odds of any self-respecting gay male coming on to you are about the same as getting that steamy Scarlett Johansson text message you’ve been expecting.

It just ain’t gonna happen!

Should you choose to doubt my shrewd assessment, please visit any gay bar on any Friday or Saturday night. I guarantee you’ll still be sitting by yourself at 4 a.m.

But back to the issue at hand. michalowski

When the then “unknown” accuser charged Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford with  some untoward behavior, even I had my doubts. But then I saw the former Treasurer staffer’s photograph and immediately knew the allegations were false because, holy crap, Dan Rutherford can do a hell of a lot better than this!

Not that I’m any prize, but being generous, Edmund Michalowski is the kind of non-descript, balding, slightly overweight, sagging, pasty white guy that would fit right into a suburban TGI Fridays’ weekend crowd. He’s hardly the stuff of Whitman-esque love poetry

And if that isn’t good enough for you, our plaintiff had a number of strikes against him even before we gazed upon his gleaming visage.

He can’t seem to get by on six-figure salary, he’s had more government jobs than Rahm Emanuel, he recently declared bankruptcy, he’s getting a divorce, he tried extortion before going public during a tight gubernatorial race, and his very own travel vouchers undercut his story (these details are all over the web if you’re interested).

And just how does this nondescript guy land yet another plum job with the Cook County Recorder of Deeds in the middle of this vast political bleepstorm? Mayor Emanuel might be able to answer that question!

Please, please, please don’t try to tell me that uber-arrogant bleep Bruce Rauner had nothing to do with this because he had everything to do with this.

C’mon! Rauner, who’s certainly no idiot, craftily concocted this ploy to place Rutherford squarely into the worst of all catch-22s. It doesn’t matter if Dan denies or ignores these allegations, the sexuality question remains.

Now, greater political minds than mine have pondered how to (or not to) respond to this kind of scurrilous attack, but my theory has always been to own it and thus, deprive your opponent of their momentum and turn it right back around on them.

Who gives a flying bleep if Rutherford is gay? It’s 2014 and he’s the only candidate who can put Pat Quinn out of our collective misery. If he isn’t gay, the fact that he hasn’t married at 57 only proves he’s far smarter than the rest of us doomed heterosexual males who, if we had it to do all over again…

Please also note that I’ve previously spoken with the Treasurer at length, and Michalowski’s claim that Rutherford responded to a rebuffed overture with, “You just said no the Treasurer,” is something he wouldn’t say on his worst day. Apparently Ed has watched one too many episodes of The Real Housewives of  Orange County.

Then there’s the fact that sexual harassment is always a pattern of behavior and no else one has come forward with anything remotely like this in Rutherford’s lengthy and generally clean political career.

So while I would encourage Mr. Michalowski to continue indulging in the belief that he’s every gay man’s fantasy because the heterosexual thing clearly isn’t workin’ out for him, perhaps we’d all be better off if he kept it to himself.

The bottom line is this. Anyone who falls for this BS and votes for Rauner will get exactly what they deserve – Pat Quinn!

The City of Geneva Came Through (because they had to!)

When we last left off, not only was Geneva’s reigning queen, Mary McKittrick, threatening to lop Alderman Dean Kilburg’s head clean off for having the temerity to request workman’s comp numbers, but princess Stephanie Dawkins offered a fascinating take on our FOIA statute.

But why listen to my blather when the COW meeting minutes compiled by the City say it all; Ald. 

Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dawkins

Assistant City Manager Stephanie Dawkins

Kilburg asked if this information could be obtained via FOIA. Dawkins stated that state law does not require the city to ‘create’ a new report for the purpose of FOIA so she was not confident that it would qualify.

Just to prove a point, yours truly FOIA’d the very information Kilburg requested. More on that later because Assistant City Manager Dawkins’ legal jewel wasn’t nearly the only disinformation disseminated at that meeting.

Why, by the time it was adjourned, one might say the manure was knee deep. Since the City seems incapable of behaving, let’s set the statutory situation straight once and for all right here.

1. The FOIA laws are clear

Aside from being a real pain in the ass, I rarely apply the term “expert” to my name, but in this case, I’ll make an exception. I may not have gotten much out of toiling eight years for newspapers, but I know the FOIA statute backwards, forwards and sideways.

Law enforcement requests are different, but in general, when it comes to municipal data, you have to hand it over. Of course, you can’t FOIA city employees’ home addresses, violate HIPA laws, or make an overly burdensome request, but everything else is fair game.

These laws were written with transparency in mind and the Attorney General and most judges take a dim view of government entities that balk at a reasonable request.

2. Aldermen are ENTITLED to city data

Aldermen, village trustees, county board members, township trustees etc.., are statutorily entitled to any information regarding the body on which they serve. (With the same exceptions as the FOIA statute.)

This, of course, makes our whole argument moot because the appropriate city manager response to Kilburg’s request would’ve been, “How soon do you need the data?” Instead, the assistant city manager downright lied and queen Mary  demanded to know the reason for the request.

To reiterate, my response would’ve been, “None of your damn business!”

And Mayor Burns’ contention that the City Council had come to an unspoken accord on these kind of aldermanic inquiries is pure unadulterated BS. At least three alderman weren’t even around for this supposed consensus and it’s generally wielded as a weapon to keep the aldermen in check and in the dark.

The bottom line here is, though the City of Geneva is self insured, I’m sure the insurance company that monitors that process could provide the information with a minimal effort.

3. Aldermen do more than “set policy.”

The other assertion queen Mary regularly bandied about that meeting was that all aldermen do is set policy. Then it’s up to City staff to carry it out.

Not even close!

When it comes to any of the previously mentioned government bodies, all of the power lies with those boards. City Manager McKittrick serves only at the behest of the City Council. The mayor governs with “the advice and consent” of the council.

So while it would be a bit unruly to have the aldermen involved in absolutely every aspect of the City, in the end, nothing happens without them. Yes! They do set policy, but they should also regularly review that policy, and enforce it’s appropriate and ongoing implementation.

But Queen Mary clearly thinks she can cow (pun intended) that group into believing she’s the boss while the truth is, the aldermen should be watching her and Mayor Burns like a collective group of hawks – because it’s their job.

And since we’re on the subject of policy setting, I wonder if the city council knows that Ms. McKittrick regularly lobbies state officials regarding a certain aspect of FOIA law she finds distasteful? Though it’s an interesting proposition (we’ll discuss that later), the question is, just who set that policy?

In the end, municipal attorney Chuck Radovich likely set Queen Mary and princess Stephanie straight and the City of Geneva appropriately answered my FOIA. I, in turn, forwarded the information along to Alderman Kilburg.

Though I once had high hopes for our Third Ward councilman, Kilburg doesn’t choose his battles wisely, he doesn’t garner the support necessary to win those skirmishes, and he doesn’t finish what he starts. If you add that up it comes out to not being very effective.

Perhaps his tenure on the Geneva school board should’ve been fair warning. Who’d have thunk anyone could make me long for Ray Pawlak? (I kid the former alderman!)

Lastly, with Rick Nagel gone, my Patch posts will likely diminish. It’s just not the same without him. Since local newspapers are understaffed, I will endeavor to “patch” those holes by regularly covering City of Geneva, D304 School Board and the Library Board proceedings on my blog I look forward to seeing you there.